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Thread: SawStop long-term cost/reliability

  1. #16
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    I take no issue with electronics in general, as example I have plenty of digital gauges and many have been working for me for a long time. Many electronics are very robust.

    However, I feel personally that simple machinery need only simple electronics, mag starter and electronic brake are plenty.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  2. #17
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    Jim

    I do not own a SawStop, so I have no horse in this race.

    Without seeing the actual circuit boards, I will make some assumptions.
    If they are well designed, the life of the board, barring failure, should be 40 years. This would be based on the life expectancy of any tantalum capacitors. Regular electrolytic capacitors should have a life expectancy of 15-20 years.
    Resistors and diodes are basically environmentally dependent for their age, but if they were sized properly they should be the last parts to fail. Power transistors, rectifiers ,and voltage regulator chips, would be in the 20+ year range. Any IC type processor chips should also be in the 20+ year range, if not longer.
    I have worked on obsolete electronics my entire working career. The first parts to fail are the non tantalum capacitors, followed closely by any IC voltage regualtors. It's not uncommon when a circuit board fails that we replace all of the capacitors and any voltge regulator circuit components and the board "comes back to life".
    What can make it hard is if the OEM Vendor, now out of business for 2+ decades, never issued schematics and went in and erased all of the chip data printed on any chip sets. This used to be a common practice. If all of the chip nomenclature is visible, and there are accurate schematics of the electronic control circuitry, repairing the board will be a very real possibility.
    I would expect, based on my experience with electronic repair for the past 40 years, that aside from infant mortality, it will be some 20+ years before a "trend" in failure begins to occur. By then who knows what can happen.
    I think your fine with the original warranty. Any infant mortality failure should happen while it's still under warranty.
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 09-07-2019 at 7:32 AM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Friedrichs View Post
    Worst-case, you could bypass the electronics and turn it into a "regular" table saw.

    SawStop is no longer a start-up - they were bought by Festool's parent company (TTS), which makes it unlikely they'll go out of business or stop support.

    The sheer number of SawStops that have been sold would seem to make it unlikely that you'll have insurmountable problems in the future. If, say, a circuit board fails, it will occur often enough that someone will build an after-market replacement or license the design from TTS to sell replacements (assuming TTS doesn't).

    I wouldn't worry about it. By the same logic, you shouldn't buy any cordless power tools that are brushless or use LiIon batteries, as those all contain electronics.
    There is a difference in a $100 tool then a $3000 tool. All electronics will degrade over a period of time what happens when your saw is 20 years old and the electronics go out Sawstop is the only one making them now and are trying to keep anybody else from making them. You can rebuild a 60 year old Uni but will you be able to rebuild a 30 year old Sawstop.

  4. #19
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    I will add one more thing, I work in product development and when we design a circuit board we test each and every component when the vendor builds it we then test the first articles to make sure they are building it with the spec'd part and it performs as designed. Issues that can/do occur is when GSC gets involved, they have a habit of sourcing "like", "equivalent" parts that have not been qualified by PD, additionally the vendor building the board will do the same thing. Of course there is no way for the customer to know this but if it occurs and parts start failing a company will see an uptick in service calls on that part and any legit company will replace it even if its out of warranty.

    Here is my unsubstantiated prediction for Sawstop, they were bought by a new company (we new that) they will continue ship as designed Sawstop products - at some point within 2ish years of the Sawstop/Festool integration the bean counters will want to start cutting costs and will look for ways to do this... even more so with a company that is public (is Festool a public company). Festool is very heavy in electronics could be good for the Sawstop, could be bad...

    I would have a worry over electronics in any quality built tool, most of it is simple electronics that are off the shelf and alot of it can be repaired if your handy and have the internet...

    mk

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cutler View Post
    Jim

    I do not own a SawStop, so I have no horse in this race.

    Without seeing the actual circuit boards, I will make some assumptions.
    If they are well designed, the life of the board, barring failure, should be 40 years. This would be based on the life expectancy of any tantalum capacitors. Regular electrolytic capacitors should have a life expectancy of 15-20 years.
    Resistors and diodes are basically environmentally dependent for their age, but if they were sized properly they should be the last parts to fail. Power transistors, rectifiers ,and voltage regulator chips, would be in the 20+ year range. Any IC type processor chips should also be in the 20+ year range, if not longer.
    I have worked on obsolete electronics my entire working career. The first parts to fail are the non tantalum capacitors, followed closely by any IC voltage regualtors. It's not uncommon when a circuit board fails that we replace all of the capacitors and any voltge regulator circuit components and the board "comes back to life".
    What can make it hard is if the OEM Vendor, now out of business for 2+ decades, never issued schematics and went in and erased all of the chip data printed on any chip sets. This used to be a common practice. If all of the chip nomenclature is visible, and there are accurate schematics of the electronic control circuitry, repairing the board will be a very real possibility.
    I would expect, based on my experience with electronic repair for the past 40 years, that aside from infant mortality, it will be some 20+ years before a "trend" in failure begins to occur. By then who knows what can happen.
    I think your fine with the original warranty. Any infant mortality failure should happen while it's still under warranty.

  5. #20
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    My first post, so be gentle.

    i have a SawStop PCS and love it, but it seems we might be missing one significant point with regard to the electronics and that is that the electronics do not involve the operation of the saw and can be easily bypassed with the switch provided specifically for this purpose. If the electronics fail and parts are unavailable to repair them you would be left with an excellent quality table saw that no longer had the ability to prevent injuries but was just like every other high quality table saw.

    For me that the added safety until (and if) that ever happens is worth the additional up front cost.

  6. #21
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    There are other electronics, the bypass switch for example... but still a valid point I doubt that part is more than 100-125 to replace.

    mk

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Marinari View Post
    My first post, so be gentle.

    i have a SawStop PCS and love it, but it seems we might be missing one significant point with regard to the electronics and that is that the electronics do not involve the operation of the saw and can be easily bypassed with the switch provided specifically for this purpose. If the electronics fail and parts are unavailable to repair them you would be left with an excellent quality table saw that no longer had the ability to prevent injuries but was just like every other high quality table saw.

    For me that the added safety until (and if) that ever happens is worth the additional up front cost.

  7. #22
    This will depend upon ownership of SS. If their attitude is to keep driving support, then "future" parts may be there. Things do change within companies and their attitudes on that support. Generally with model changes a number of replacement parts are produced to take care of future problems and when those are gone, that's that. Years ago I represented a company that had changed models, for the better, but continued with excellent support for the electronics on the preceding unit. One of the components became NLA and they were unwilling to re-develop a part for a product that had been discontinued for 12 years. Those things happen. I looked on FB Marketplace yesterday and there was a '36 Unisaw for sale. I blame Delta and PM for creating that attitude that the things should last forever. I have the PCS and love it. I had a restored '48 Unisaw and it too was great. I miss it. I like the layout of the SS. Its dust collection is light years better. Perhaps the biggest thing for me is the safety aspect of the SS. I got along nicely for years with the Unisaw, but occasionally someone else is running the saw and I am slightly less nervous about it with the SS.

  8. #23
    I've only had my PCS about a year but I don't worry about it long term. It is just a sturdy well made cabinet saw with some extra electronics. If the electronics ever fail and are unavailable, which seems quite unlikely, I would just convert it to a regular table saw. At most, that would mean a motor replacement. I don't think it's likely at all. If festool fails to provide support, there is a market, seems like somebody else would step in.

  9. #24
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    Unless the motor has an encoder (more than likely not) the motor probably not in play, would be just the switch an potentially some wire jumping

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Dwight View Post
    I've only had my PCS about a year but I don't worry about it long term. It is just a sturdy well made cabinet saw with some extra electronics. If the electronics ever fail and are unavailable, which seems quite unlikely, I would just convert it to a regular table saw. At most, that would mean a motor replacement. I don't think it's likely at all. If festool fails to provide support, there is a market, seems like somebody else would step in.

  10. #25
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    I love my 1945 Uni, but would not even consider it if it were still offered today and I wanted to buy a new saw. I wouldn't let concerns about long term reliability influence my decision. I would think about which machines fit the way I work, fit into my shop, and offer the best safety features. That would be a SS in my case, but only because a 10' slider won't fit into my shop.

    John

  11. #26
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    Will a 9' slider fit? I got it in a 24' x 24' with and 16"jp and it fits well, you will be better off with a slider any day of the week... I would even consider an 8' but always get the biggest you can fit...

    mk

    Quote Originally Posted by John TenEyck View Post
    I love my 1945 Uni, but would not even consider it if it were still offered today and I wanted to buy a new saw. I wouldn't let concerns about long term reliability influence my decision. I would think about which machines fit the way I work, fit into my shop, and offer the best safety features. That would be a SS in my case, but only because a 10' slider won't fit into my shop.

    John

  12. #27
    Rob Cosman demonstrates the sawstop in this video.

    (Not that I would condone Rob's behaviour on a tablesaw!)
    Electronics aside, the saw has these features that looks smart, and if buying new I'd not consider anything less.

    The trunnion design is resting on a pair instead of just a single support... I believe?
    Which has less chance of slop whilst the blade is tilted to 45, so will be parallel with the miter slots.
    These fillets can make lethal spears!

    The saw has a riving knife which is the proper way to do things.

    Just my two cents
    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Trees; 09-07-2019 at 10:49 PM.

  13. #28
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    That would be a SS in my case, but only because a 10' slider won't fit into my shop.
    My Hammer K3 has a 1250mm slider (there is a size smaller than this available, an 850mm). This is know as a short stroke slider. This one requires about 1500mm behind and in front of the 300mm blade for travel - that is 3.3m in all). That is probably the same that you would have for the average SS if you are working with hardwood, as I do.

    Here you see how much space I have behind the K3 for the slider table (noting that the sliding section can be locked into the table and used as a cabinet saw) ...



    And in front ...



    I am really not intending this post as a sales pitch. It is just to help clarify the area needed for a short stroke slider that is competition for a typical cabinet table saw.

    Now, here's a new thing: there is a jig that can be made (I plan to make it, and then will post pictures) that will make it fairly easy to rip as long as you want on the slider. It is essentially a slider-on-the-slider, and one can either make the parts oneself or get them from Felder.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  14. #29
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    I was an early adopter of SS, Iív Had mine in a commercial shop now for several years. In that time Iíve replaced a significant number of components on the saw, none of which have been electronic. It has not held up nearly as well as the previous powermatic 66 however it has tripped 3 times in those now many years. Would the operator have been injured on the 66, hard to say but as a business owner responsible for the equipment and the subsequent insurance claim I prefer replacing the SS brake then paying the lawyers hourly rates

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Mathewson View Post
    I was an early adopter of SS, I’v Had mine in a commercial shop now for several years. In that time I’ve replaced a significant number of components on the saw, none of which have been electronic. It has not held up nearly as well as the previous powermatic 66 however it has tripped 3 times in those now many years. Would the operator have been injured on the 66, hard to say but as a business owner responsible for the equipment and the subsequent insurance claim I prefer replacing the SS brake then paying the lawyers hourly rates
    I would be interested in what components you have had to replace.

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